Polk County Announces Plan to Welcome A CVSO Into the Community

Commissioner Wheeler Giving Testimony Before Veterans Committee on May 25, 2016

Commissioner Wheeler Giving Testimony Before Veterans Committee on May 25, 2016

Video Testimony of Commissioner Wheeler Before Veterans Committee on May 25, 2016

Under the leadership of Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler, Polk County has announced that it will oversee a new CVSO position embedded in the local community. For decades, veterans in Polk County who needed help with their benefits claim had to go into Salem, where the closest Veterans Affairs office is located. In late May, the Polk County Budget Committee approved $40,000 to hire a county veterans’ service officer and staff a local office. The state will also pitch in to open an office. Polk County currently has about 8,000 veterans. Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler said a group of veterans and vet advocates brought the issue to the Polk County Board of Commissioners about three months ago. They said a local office — and more importantly, a local service officer — is greatly needed.  “A lot of the veterans who might have transportation issues, might not know the services are available, or for whatever reason, are reluctant or unable to get to the state office,” Wheeler said.  “I think it’s time. I’m really happy that the budget committee approved the position,” Wheeler said.  She said not being a veteran, she isn’t familiar with the complicated system vets have to navigate to claim benefits. Something local veteran advocate Wayne Crowder said stuck with her. “He said the words veteran and homeless should never be used in the same sentence,” she recalled. “For people who have given their time and sacrificed for our country, he’s absolutely right.”  With the addition of Polk County there are now county based CVSO’s in 35 out of Oregon’s 36 counties.  Full News Story

2016-12-21T20:11:11+00:00 June 23rd, 2016|Categories: Veterans|